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Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
The Cannabis Control Commission announced on Oct. 27 that it would hold a second public hearing, on Nov. 13, focused on proposed delivery regulations.
The CCC postponed its final vote on the matter from Oct. 29 to Nov. 30.
Those interested in participating in the Nov. 13 hearing must complete an online request form by Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. Speaking opportunities will be available to the first 90 submissions received, and any additional speakers will be placed on a waiting list due to time constraints.
The proposed changes to the state’s Adult Use of Marijuana regulations (935 CMR 500.000) would create two different license types authorized to deliver to consumers.
A Marijuana Courier License is a new iteration of the previously named Delivery-Only License that is currently within the commission’s regulations.
The commission’s draft regulations would add a new Marijuana Delivery Operator License, which would allow businesses to purchase marijuana and finished marijuana products at wholesale from cultivators, craft marijuana cooperatives, product manufacturers, and microbusinesses and sell orders directly to consumers.
The proposal would specifically differentiate these license types from the license for marijuana retailers.
The commission has already considered comments submitted from more than 80 individuals and organizations on delivery alone during a public comment period that ended on Oct. 15.
The MMA submitted comments to the CCC on Oct. 15, and urged the commission not to adopt the new marijuana delivery operator license (wholesale delivery license).
“According to the enabling legislation, a marijuana retailer is the only marijuana establishment that was contemplated to deliver marijuana or marijuana products directly to consumers,” the MMA stated. “The expansion of the wholesale delivery license within the newest iteration of regulations is not in line with existing regulatory definitions and is seemingly in direct conflict with the statutory framework.
“Although the wholesale delivery licensee could sell directly to consumers acting essentially as a retailer, municipalities would not be able to count those licensees against their retail cap if they have one.”
In an Oct. 15 letter to the CCC, a group of 19 legislators wrote, “While we deeply appreciate your diligent work as individual commissioners and as a regulatory authority, we believe that the wholesale delivery license category proposed in the draft regulations was not contemplated, nor supported, by the enabling legislation. We are also concerned that the enormity of this change and its potential disruption to the nascent retail marketplace and to local communities has not been fully vetted or realized given the abbreviated period for public comment, and we would ask that you revisit your timeline to allow for additional public hearings and acceptance of written testimony.”
At an Oct. 20 commission meeting to discuss delivery policy, Commissioner Jennifer Flanagan moved to postpone consideration of the delivery license regulations until January 2023, citing concerns about 23 distinct discussion points and noting that there were still too many questions surrounding delivery, but her motion was defeated, 3-1.
Commissioner Britte McBride said the new delivery framework is a way to fulfill the commission’s mandate to promote an equitable industry, as both delivery licenses would be available exclusively to Certified Economic Empowerment Applicants and Social Equity Program Participants for a minimum of three years.